Sydney A-League Clubs Oppose Potential Third Team In City
Football Federation Australia is "unlikely to bow to pressure" from Sydney A-League clubs arguing against a third team in the city as it emerged the federal government "could help build a stadium for Melbourne bid entity Team 11," according to Rugari & Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The chairs from Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers, Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar met with senior FFA management on Thursday to "discuss the impact of expansion upon the existing clubs." After initially opposing expansion from its outset in March, "the biggest clubs entered collaboration with FFA on the eve of the submission of final bid papers to the board." However, it is understood that privately and individually, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers have "staunchly opposed the introduction of a new team in Sydney that would be based in either of the club's fan base regions." Senior FFA execs said that while the concerns of both clubs have been taken on board, it remains "a very strong possibility" a third team from the city will win the race for expansion. Sources close to the board suggested the FFA does not want to be "beholden solely to the interests of existing clubs" as the federation attempts to grow the professional game (SMH, 12/6).
FFA CUP EXCLUSION: Rugari & Bossi also reported with the A-League "facing a race against the clock" to get two new teams up and running by the start of the next season, FFA decided to "leave them out" of the 2019 FFA Cup draw. The two successful expansion bids, which could be announced next week, will not be required to compete in the FFA Cup "due to a lack of preparation time caused by the delays in the process." Already six weeks behind the original announcement date and "with the possibility of further delays," the expansion clubs will be allowed to focus on a round one entrance into the '19-20 A-League season, which begins in mid-October, instead of "rushing" toward a July start in the FFA Cup (SMH, 12/6).